So, I've gone and done it.  I've actually proposed to Tamaryn.
Well...I tried to, at least.  I tried to bring it up in casual
conversation, but she wouldn't let it sit.  "I've been waiting for this
for five years," says she.  "You're finally doing right by me," says she.
If only she'd have accepted my hints, and let it sit at that.  But no, she
wants a ring, and she wants me down on my knees.  "Tisn't a proper
proposal without a ring, and you on your knees."  She'd never given me any
inkling that I'd done her wrong to date.  She's been speaking with me mum,
she has.  She tells me to go find her a ring, and ask again, and then
she'll think about it.

	I thought we'd done pretty well, us two.

	I guess we have, but she wants more...and who am I to deny it?

	Perhaps mentioning Eric's conversation with me prompted this

	So I found her a ring.  A right nice one, at that - but I had to
avoid Irene Feldane to get it.  She's a sweet girl...or rather, a gracious
lady now that she and Feldane are wed.  I think she sought me out.  It's
been so long since we spoke, I can't believe that this was a chance
meeting - seeing that I'm of marrying age, and she has several
stepdaughters waiting to be wed.  Maybe I'm being overly anxious, but ever
since Eric and I had our little chat, I've been a bit on edge.  Can you
blame me?

	It was good to see Irene, but the memory of our parting is still
fresh in my mind.  I did what I did because I wanted to give Foster a
proper family - his real mother and father.  I thought I had a chance with
Murine - little did I know that she wasn't Foster's mum, and Foster was
too old to need his da.  As angry as she might be over it, I hope she at
least accepts that I was trying to do the right thing.  It might be hard
to believe, but it is true.

	So we parted again, me unwilling to say that I was leaving for
Shadow to find my love an engagement ring...not knowing what Irene really
wanted, and feeling it too cruel to drop the information into casual
conversation.  It might just be a slap to an already tender subject.  She
said we'd meet again soon.  I've no reason to doubt her.

	So I brought her a ring...with a rock...just as she requested.
She seemed to like it.  She liked it enough to ask me out on a date - we
spent the night dancing, much like our "first" date.  She wants to set a
date - so I can't "weasel" out of it.  I don't know whether to be insulted
by that or not.

	I spoke to Eric - told him that Tamaryn and I were engaged.  He
denies having sent Irene to visit.  Tamaryn wants a big ceremony - which I
admit, I'm a bit distressed by.  She says she's earned it, but I don't
know if I want everyone to know that it took me six years to "do right by
her."  It wouldn't have been a problem, in my mind, but now that we're to
be married, I'd feel like a cad to let everyone know that all of the
children (including Foster) were born out of wedlock.

	Maybe now, Mum will stop sending Gideon after me.

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